Congratulations Jim St. Cyr, the very first recipient of the Waterville Valley Redliner 125 Patch!
This summer the Waterville Valley Recreation Department launched the new WV Redliner 125 Patch program. To earn the patch, hikers must complete a total of 48 trails and 125 miles (tap here for the hiking log). Past hikes count toward the goal and there’s no time limit to complete the hikes. The goal is to encourage people to get out and explore Waterville Valley, home to the first network of hiking trails in America.
One of those explorers is Jim St. Cyr, of Kensington, NH. At the end of July, the Rec. Dept. received Jim’s completed hiking log and verified that he is, indeed, the first WV Redliner 125 Patch recipient!
Jim shared his #WVRedliner story with the Rec. Dept.
“When Waterville Valley Recreation Department announced the WV Redliner 125 Patch, I compared the hiking log to what I’d already completed. I was psyched to see that I needed only five trails to finish the challenge (Tri-Town Trail, Yellow Jacket Trail, Pine Flats Trail, Old Waterville Road, and Mad River Path). I opened up my trusty Hiking Trails in the Waterville Valley map and saw that four of the trails were interconnected, with the last one, Mad River Path, being the only outlier.
“On a beautiful summer day, I drove up from my home in the NH Seacoast area, to the Smarts Brook Trailhead on Route 49. I wasn’t paying attention and drove right past the trailhead parking area! A quick u-turn and all was well. Switched from sneakers to my hiking shoes, put my pack on, and into the woods I went.
“The first new trail of the day was the Tri-Town Trail which I reached by going up the Smarts Brook Trail just a short way from the parking lot. It’s a pleasant path that travels through hardwoods and evergreens. I saw several hikers on the 1.1 mile trail before it once again connected with the Smarts Brook Trail, and then led to the Yellow Jacket Trail. The trails run along Smarts Brook and water flowing over rocks provided a soothing backdrop to the other forest sounds.
“The lower section of the Pine Flats Trail boasts numerous and varied water features.
“I reached the Old Waterville Road and came across a clearing with several tombstones. Some were more than 170 years old, dating back to the mid-1800s. I strolled along, enjoying the sights and sounds. The trail was standard forest road with a few areas where it became camouflaged with tall grass and bushes. All too quickly, I came to the end of the trail and took a short break.
“Break over, I headed back up the Old Waterville Road (Out-N-Backs, the bane of Redliners!). The 1.4 miles went by quickly and I was, once again, on the Yellow Jacket Trail before heading onto the Pine Flats Trail. After an initial rise, it became apparent how the trail got its name.
“As I continued on the flat trail, the sound of water became steadily louder and then I was presented with a wonderful surprise: a ravine with numerous water features and walls of a reddish rock that I haven’t seen elsewhere in the Whites! A bonus was the area was significantly cooler. My pace dropped to a slow walk as I admired the constantly changing view. A couple of quick Out-N-Backs and the Old Waterville Road was complete, as was the Pine Flats Trail.
“Lower Smarts Brook flows through a ravine that runs along the Pine Flats Trail.
“The final trail of the day was the Mad River Path. I parked in the lot across from the Osceola Library and walked to the trailhead on West Branch Road. The first part of the trail is an access road; the majority of the path runs alongside the Mad River. There is a river crossing, but some very large, strategically placed boulders make it an easy, fun affair.
“The trail is well-constructed and there is a small ‘high point’ with some beautiful rock and log crib steps. I reached the far end, took a short break, and started back. It was a great day to be out, made all the better by completing a wonderful list of trails.”
Excerpted from a Waterville Valley Recreation Department article and Facebook page.